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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  January 13, 2010 12:00pm-1:00pm EST

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>> rose:elcome to the broadct. toght morgan freeman. >> he has a most commanding presence withouteing lordly. heoesn't walk int a room as nels mandela. he walks into a room aselson. 's... he doesn't take the om, the room givestself. it's the quality he's alwayhad i think. >> rose: morgan freeman f the hour. next. ♪
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if you've had a ke in the last 20ears, ( screams ) you've had hand in giving colle scholarships... most prosing students. ♪ ( coca-cola 5-note mnenic ) captioning spoored by roseommunications from our sdios in new york is is charlie rose. rose: morgan freeman is her in1994, nelson mandelaas asked who should playim in the movie of his life. his aner: morga freema 15 yrs later, freeman has just
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done that. he srs as the southfrican leader in the new fm "invictus. 's a storyof mandela's effort to uni his countrysing perhaps its most disive symbol-- the spring box rugby team. here's the trail for the film. >> i think whateverods may be for uncomparable soul. i am the master of my fat i the captainf my soul. >> today preside mandela takes office in pretoria. lancing black aspirations with white frs. remember this this day, boys. this is a day our untry went to the dogs. >> brothers and sisters, this is the me to build our nation. all of thehites are cheering for soh africa.
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alof the blacks are cheering r eng lann. how ng before the world cup? >> d't get your hopes up. we're asamned as christ. >> i've been invited tea. >> with who? >> t president. >> how do w insre ourselves to greatns where thing less whether l do? how do we inspire everyone around us >> what did he want? >> i think he wantsus to win the world cup >> rug is a political calculation. >> it is a human calculion. accoing to the experts, we'll go to the quarter finals and no further. >> according to the experts, you and i should still be in jail. >> times change and w need changes wl. we've become morehan just a
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rugby team. >> this is it! this is our destiny! >> i wasthinking about ho you spent 30 years in a tin cell and came out rey to forgive the people w put you here. >> i am the master ofy fate. i am t captain of my soul. >> ros i am pleased to have morgan frean. so it was always those who le politics and love you, that there was no one, it was a foregone conclusion that you re mandela. >> wel, you know, afte he said that yeah, i... how cld it go
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herwise? >> rose:o other way. >> and, you know,it's aig honor. right, okay, fine. >> rose: i don't know of anybody who has more respect than he does over a wer range o peoplen the world. >>o, they can't..couldn't . he's earned it wh his life, you know? from the time he stood up in court and said tt a democratic world whau he lived for and was willing to die for a had his sentence reduced from death to life. he's been our hero. >> rose: and en ahero tois jailers. >> oh, yeah. yeah. because he learned or new tha kiness was the most pent weap at his disposa and he used it. he coercedthem with kiness. >> and have veng would be too
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unterproductive and destructive? >> it would ve destroyedthe country. itould have gone up i flames. it wou have been the congo. it would hav been... what was that country rwanda w in? rose: when he first mentionethat you should play him, were youn his presence at that time? >>o, i wasn't. but i was in south africa athe me. >> rose: andwhen did you first meet him? >> i met him after... rig aftehe left the presidency. thfilm pducer who made the movie arranged it? >> rose: he didn't me this one. head the rights to long walk of freedom that's right. >> so he was orcstrating al of my meetings wit med diva.
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>> rose: th's what manla is called? >> and everybo in sout aica calls hithat and everybodyho knows him wellalls him that. so so i'sorry. so i said i needed toet to him and organized a meeting. i said "i need to get close t you and hold yr hand. and said to call. and so i saw him all around the rld and we wouldit and tal or d just wat him. and len him. >>ose: what didyouee? >> the basic thing tt you need order to play a living hun ing, i think, is what goes on inside, how much energy i needed to be that peon. and th mandela, it's a very low energy e. he's very quiet. inside he's quiet.
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i learned that. that's tmain drive >>ose: you have to learn patiencen part if you're h. yeah. >> rose: a control. becausyou're in prison r 20 something yes. >> 27 all told. 27 yea. >> rose: but wereyou looki for a handle or does morn freeman need aandle toet inside of him the way he walks, the way he stands, t way he breath, the way he uses h eyes? >> well, i don't kw ifll of that is or isot a handle, t, yes, you need to watch for the nuances. yoknow? fornstance if i was going to play u it would be just the most aquiet typeof perfoance. because you have quiet eye u know that, don't u?
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>> rose: yes. (laughs) yes, io. that's the way you were. >> i wish it w otherwise but it's somimes beencalled sleepy eyes. >> rose >>o, they'reot sleepy. you're totly alive. it's quiet. >> rose: (laughs) that's true. so what didou see,hough? i mean, tl me aut this man when you're up cle and you have your eyes oerve him? what about chacter and... i don't know. >> rose: passion. >> i'vebeen asked an askednd asked how... what do you use? wh do you see when u look at him? and i don't semuch. i feel it all. i can sit and hold h hand. and i mean he's not really a hand holder. but he's african so they can do th without the overlay, you know? and i explained to him why that was important to me. anheallows it.
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so is not... i reay have trouble explaining it because i think it's sort of like inteectualizing what i do a i n't. >> rose:o, i underand. i'm not asking you to do that. >> i know you're not. >>ose: but tre is some... if you say nson mdela andask sobody "choose a wd." they would say digny. >> gravitas. >> ros gravitas. >> gravitas, yes. first orde he is that. and he's commaing. he has a most commanng presence without bein lordly. he dsn't walk into a room as nelson maela. he walks io aoom as madiba as nelson. he's... he doesn'take the room, throom gives itself.
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's a quality hs always had i think. when he firstot into robin isla and they issued short pas to everybody except to kathy. it washmed kasada, the one indian among him, kathy jected his long pan and madiba said "no no, no,ut them on. we're all gng to have lg pants." and thene said to himself "they' going to call me mier how did hedo that? so he hears that a guard's child isick. the guard comes to work and he sa "good morni, how is your baby is she all right today?" things lik that. >> rose: you know--and you've en been quoted as saying
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this-- i understandhy they want morn freem. i know whorgan freeman has do, i know what he can do a thefore i know why ty want morgan freeman. nelsonandela undersnds who he is. >> yes. rose: he underands what it means toe nelson mandela. >> yes. yes. is for him a... was because i've g something to tellou. it was f h a big obligatio. it washeobligation of hi life. you know, he doesn't feel like the big success that we all hold him up as. he thinks of himse personally deep inside as a failure. because of his famy life. he couldn't do both. >>ose: south africa bame his fami. >> yeah. and his oigations tohis village to whinney, to h son,
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that wghson him today and it inses his being withadness >> re: he wasn't the father h would like to havebeen. that he feels he shouldave en. >> rose: should ha been. and you? >> prey much the sam >> re: same thing? >> yeah. >> ros because youanted to be what? >> i wanted toe an actor. >> rose: but you wanted to be good. you wanted to be not just an acto >> well, ii could one, i w going to be a good o. >> rose: you were goi to be good, yeah. ro tape. here it is. >> i've g a grandson w is born iseptember. isked him whato you want me to b for you? he saii want a motorcar.
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i sa let's go to the shops. got out of thear, he was holding my hand,my left hd, and we went out ofhe op which sells motorcars. but as we lked in, i the shook my hand now heeft with that and came to grab his hand. so i said to him can you hold his handd? he said , he held his hand. because he saw me greeng other people with this hand. i stopped being his grandther i was now a grandfather of so many people he did not know. he was so upset that even when we eered the shop, the vehicle with motors he was no long interested.
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th is the pe ofof it. a grandfather o is a andfather not of my grandchild but other people arou it's a very painful experience. but neverthels we hav to comm ourselves completelto the organizion and to try t ho that your children a grandchildrewill uerstand. >> rose:and your resnse >> yeah. >> rose: yeah? >> thas exactly what you were talkinabout? >> exactly. it's that hope that someday you' be forgiven, they'll understa. >> ros a you feel theame way? >> yeah. >> rose: but would you make the same decion if you had it to
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do over? >> aolutely. >> rose: i would, too. yeah because you uld never have beenappy if you had not discovered what you wereade out of? >> yeah, exactly. >> rose: m, too. in a dferent way thanou or nels mandela. i never understood-- cause it's such a powerful life-- why a long wal to freem hasn't be made into a movie--r has it? >> no, ihasn't. >> rose: book he wro. >> and the proem with it is as a moe... the book... there was just entirely too mu information. and no one has ever bee able to duce ito an essence because there... ihink if you were going try to do "long wal to freedom" you would do it as ten-pa series. rose: exactly. not bad idea. >> somebody might think of it that way.
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>> rose: would you do it as a ten-part series? >> no. >> rose: because? >> i've done it. >> rose: and this offeredou e opportunity to find the slice that defined h? >> exactly. exactly. we had just a wonderf sry that came togetr from george carlinho wrote "playing the enemy" and i think that that he and tony pecam, who wro this script, sort of cbined efforts shared information and tony wrote this incredible script. and that's it. we don't needto go a further than that to define mandela as present of south aica. >> rose: so we me out of this knowing whatbout him? >> i think we come out of it
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having some idea of who t man was and how he thoughtand erated. >> rose: s tell me the story. this sry that this film tells. >> when hewas elected president the country was smoldering. it wasready to explode. >> re: they were not prepared to accept h. some of them. >> yeah. >> ros and they werenside every institution in south africa. >> yes. you had butte laz over here with the zulus you had thefricans... afrikaners over here, th naonalists and you had the a.n., this huge numb of angry people ready to ta reveng. and all the firepower ove here with the aicaners.
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d e zulus not necsarily wanting to be the controlled by the a.n. so these three factis were ready to go each other's throat how is he gng to... what is he going to do to ttle this? to quietthis? pour water on this smoering fi? and it's a big challenge for him. huge. and i thk he got the idea-- and i don't say thiswith any rtain knowledge-- when it was reported to him thathe sports commission were vong to disband the springbok. everytng there was about th springboks. rose: springbs being the uthfrican rugby team. >> yeah. the symbol of apartheid and its brutality.
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and he wen and told them "that is a mistake" and explained to em why and had them take the vo again and they changed t vote. now he's got something h can work with. he goes the u.n., he ask to let them have the springbok... theugby worldup in south africand this is a country had beenanctioned for years a ey couldn't pl any place. they said "okay." he goes back and he said "the world cup is going to belayed here." then hays in so many wor "and we ve to win it." at's why he called ofrancois pienaar. >> ros played by matt damon. >> played b matt damon and said "how do we inspire our people to greatness?" made thatwonderful speech about
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exceeding your o expectatis. said we must all exceed our own exctations. and pienr understood he wants to win the world cup. and theyid. and it was every south african today who was alive on that date 15 remembers i like we member the death of j.f.k. >> rose: because it. >> it was magic. it was a...he country was just... it came tother as one. and it never qui separated. this is thething. this was theost porful thing about it. it never qte separated. never went back to its old sel they still have pblems, of course, younow? but... >> rose: it was a different cotry. >> it was a fferent country.
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still is. >> rose: and the genius is he understood the possility. >> yes. that'shy he says sports that has power to ange the world. >> ros to reach out. >> yes. >> re: the poem from william ernest heny. >> ah. he... that poem was his favorite poem andas he explains to frcois pienaar, when he lost courage, when he ft like just giving u just lie do and not get up ain he wou recite it and it would give limb whate needed to keep going. >> rose:can you recitit? you can't, there's some words. >> out of the night tha covers me black as the pit from pole t pole i learned it when i was in school. >>ose: did youreally. >> yh. thankhatever gods may b
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from my unnquerable soul. in the fell clutch of circumstance have n cried oud under t bdgeonings of fate my head is bloody but unbowed. beyond this pce of wrath and tears looks but the adow of the shade yet the men nantz of the years finds and shall find me unafraid it matters not w strait the gate how punishment charges the control i am the master of my fate i am t captain of my soul. >> rose: this a magical moment in the histy of this show to hear you do th. >> well,hank you. >> rose: and he had it a he memorized it and itas his anchor. >> yeah. yeah. >> when the winds were at their worst. >> yeah. yeah and he wrote this poem out and gave itto francois. and i think is served the
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purpose it needed serve because when francois and t team visit robin iand this poem this poem played in francois's head and i think he knew that not only did h have to win but would. >> rose: i want see some cls and have you talk about them. you already cered some of t area. but fit how did you get clint eastwood involved? >> i kw that clt is very script oriened y can't send him script that eds work. >> rose: (laughs) nor is interested in improvisei everyday. >> no, no, not at all. not at all. doing rewrites while he's trying to shoo so i had what i thought was a
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perfect script. and we' had two outings togeth in which we were quite successful. >> rose: yes, i would say so. >> i thought, okay. >>ose: "million dollar baby" and "unforgivenif you are short of memory. >> and i tught t perfect director f this would be chrinlt. >> rose: because? yoknew what about him? >> his feel for story telling. his master. he's reallyis. you know, he's... he knows a story is dragging, if it needs i don't ow how to tea you what it is. t he is a master storyteller. if you'v seen any of the movie thate's directe, they me
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along, there's no moment where u want to turn your head or go get pcorn. he's really od at that. >> re: is at... that's part of his geni. what else? >> well, casting. setups. his s is... he likes to have a se that encourage actors to feel. and it's qui. and everyby who works with h wants to keep worki with h. >> rose: yes. here's aontage of films directed by clint stwood featurinmorgan freeman. take a look. you think that kid reallykilled five men? >> no. >> you know, when y were
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lking back there about the time them deputies had the drop on you and pete... >> yeah. >> wel, i remembethere was thremen you shot, will, not two. >> well, ain't like that no more, ned. i ain't no crazy killi fool. >>till think it' going to be sy to kill the cowboys? >> we don'drown first. whatbout you, scrap? what did your manager do? you were a hell of a fighter, a lot better tn willie. he gets you a title fight or did he just bust yo outanging your head against other people's fist until y lost your eye. >> went o swinging a no man can say didn't. >> yeah, well i remember and excuse mif i didn't want my fighter spenng the second half of his life cleaning up other people'spit. >> yeah, right. right, youe the smart one. you're the one learning greek. >> it gaelic. >> well, youust procted
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yourself out of a chpionship figh how do you say that in gaelic? what do i tell the japanese trade delegation >> i delegate at decision to u. >> you want know inform the v.p.. >> no. >> we should at let include the mister of sport. >> no. >> i strongl aise doing this, especially on your own. it giveshe impression of autocratic leadership. you risk aliating your binet anyour party. >> your aice is duly today ined. >> madiba, the people wanthis, they hate e springboks, ey don't want to beepresent represented by aeam they cheered against al their ves. >> yes, i know. this instance the people are wrong and as theirlected lead it is my jobo show them that >> you're riskinyour polical capital, you're risking your fure as our leader. >> the day i am afraid to do thats the day i am n longer fit to lead. >> rose: let m go backto clint for a second. : s. >> rose: you think he shld have west actor for "million
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dollar baby. >> yeah, yeah, absolutely. >> rose:ere's what he said about youat this tae. roll tape. do you directomeone like rgan freeman? >> well, we tk about the pt a ttle bit, but what i do... what i dos i just... hll come up with suggestions a he's got the... >> rose: hs the one eyed person who lt hisye in a figh >> we talk abo little technical thgs but we don't really... what i do is let acto act until no being do proper. if somethi's going wrong thcharacter is gng off tn i'll start qutioning it and i'll start talking about it. but i'm not one touse a lot of energy in conversation i feel that it unnervit is actors setimes and breaks down their confidence. i don't want to d that. i like to set an atmphere of
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which a person can work with the most confince and they have to have... and i ke to have people be confident in their stincts. and a guy like morgan freeman has terrific ininstincts. >> rose: (laughs i kn, don't want use a lot of extra words, a lot of extra energy. (laughs) >> n he doesn't. told one actor one time "why don't you st talk about the star he said "let's not screw it u by talking about it." >> rose: (laughs) script is importanto you. you rely on a scrip if is good. you need to go do and wat ery film on lson mandela. you already methim. you didn't need to read every book. you didn't need to find... it was there. rose: most of it's on the page there ar thing abo miba that youantto do to... just
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because ey sort of establish him for you. and if you watch him sometimes he'stalking hll do something like... do that "well, you know." and so y would that. it galvanizes people who really know him because his daughter said "how do you know to do that?" >> rose: let mehear theoice again. >> (as nelson mandela) when you walk to sakto someone, i think it is important that youpeak softly. rose: so how did y get? diyou have dicti coaches an all at kind of stu? >> no, i d a lot o tapes o him in office greeting people,
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talking to his staff. just being. not in front of a big crowd. i had those, too, but e most important on are when he's st having a conversation or taing to his aids. >> rose: playg a livin rson. >> yeah. >> rose: harder? >> more challenging. >> rose: cllenging? >> uh-h. i've done i twice. and i've... in a picture cled "lean on m i played... >> rose: priipal. >> a principal. >>ose: in a high school. >> we shott there at his school. he was there everyday. >>ose: joe crk. >> joe clark. every morning. he's a most amazinman, joe was. i would goind him in the morning and he would go out into the hallways a greet the kids as they were comg in and to see how those ks responded to him,ow... what are a positive
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imagehe was inheir lives. and called names... jt most every kid inchool. d he was always askinabout family and how is your mom and did she get the card i sent and did yodo that? just on these kids you know? and he said he nerchastised them. he delegad that to someone else. >> ros he insped them? >> yeah. t he was the one i learned about holding nds with. because hehad high energy level. a t going on in joe all the time. >> rose: you startedn stage here in new yor >> yeah. >> rose: madeour firstilm in the '08s i think, sn't it? >> well, actually myirst film was 196 but it was something with jaclugman.
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what i remember about is that they kt reiting it tryin to get more for me to do it in. i was very flattered. >>ose: but you hav no desir togo back? no, i... listen, as i kid gring all the way up i always wanted to be in the moviesand so on stage in n york you do a play you getoodeviews and all your frien say this is going toake you to t coast, this is the one. and it took forever, it seemed like. >> rose: t your50s. >> yeah, unt i was abo 50 years old. >> rose: is that better in some ways? >>h, yes, it has toe, you know? because that the way it was. >> ros extly. aughs) that's thenly thing you know. you weren't a hot shot like, say warren beatt at 22. >> n uh-huh. >> rose: b it does give you some gund grounding, too. >> oh, yeah, i think what happened with me was what should have happened with me you kno?
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bi your time, do your work an en it happensou'll be ady. >> rose: and thank god for longevity. >> absolutel >> rose: is there aole you want to ay? itsed to be banded out th morgan had to play othello before he die >> well, idid-- and died. >> ros (laughs) >> rose: puts you in a crowd with everybo else, doesn't i >> i'm telling you. >> rose: i mn, it's likehat it is about that role? >> i don'tnow. i'm telling you. but it is very, very difficult to play. ididn't... you can't play what you can't believe in, youknow? and he's harto believe in, really. anwhen i did it i d it at the civic... fo the civic light opera in dallas, texas, at an amphitheatre and i had this costume with e hd band on
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and hare pants and jacket and i waed out on stage and somebody way in the back said "sing purple haze!" >> rose: (laughs) >> ied that big afro. i looked exactly le jimi hendrix. >>ose: (laughs) that's great! hard to be othlo when they want you to be ji henix. (laughs) >> rightut the ndow. >> rose: (laughs) that's great. so the's no other chacter that... or no other person or no other... there's no mandela? >> the is no mandela but there is... was a weste i always wantedo dond this was another... >> re: you and i have talked about this but remind me. >> bass reeves was his name. and he was hired isa parker whohired... i don't know 150 200 deputy marshs because his mandatfrom the united stas governme was to clean up the
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frontier, which was oklahoma territory, indian territory, all the outlaws were. and he was one of the great is nty marshals we don'tknow about. >> rose: w can't we ge this movie de? >> can'tet a script. can't get a script. hardest thing about making a movie is getting a script. >> rose: that's why u'll see 17 different sipts? >> yeah. >> rose: but why is that so rd? cause different people do diffent aspects of sipt writing well? some are good at dialogue, some are good at plotting, rrative. some are good at... >>eah. >> rose:... character. >> it's...most of the time... evybody has sort of a formula for writing andretty soon when you ad enough of them you spot them. i need someone who isclever, not formulaic.
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>> rose: but clint loves to direct, he likes to mixt up. >> he's done aing but he says he's having great time direing. he's always working but, you know, yeahhe used to mix it up. >> rose: are you capable of a poor performance? >> oh, yeah. >> re: are you really. and you know it? >> yeah. >>ose:why wouldyou have poor perrmance? >> when take a job foroney and not know what i'm doing. >> rose:ow many times ha you done that. >> yeah. once or twe. >> rose:hat... >> no, no. >> rose: (laughs) ziit up, morgan. (laughs) there's nothing to b gained. >> rose:othing to be gained by that. that the truth. yodid it for money but everything else has en done for... >> for love of a good scrt or a good character. e. >> rose: and t love of acting
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you love doing it, that's why you d i areucky, youo what you love. >> i real love doing it. i think i was born to do it. and i'm lucky enough to have gott the chance to le it. actually maka good living doing it. >> rose: it' been everythg you wanted? >> everything i wanted yeah. >> rose: and all those characters from mandela to "unforgiven" to... i had a list of them re. >> go all the way bk to the pimp in "stet sma." >> rose: all the way back and just go throh them. working with jac in "bucket" to... >> "bucket list, yeah. bert redford in "an unfinishe life. >> rose: "shawshank redemion." >> tim robbins. >> rose:o you're going to put only five of the in a specia
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place. >> whichnes would it be? >> rose: y, sir. >> a three of the ones with clin >> rose: "forgiven," "millio dollar baby" ""iictus." ". >> rose: those three ouof the five? let'make it ten, then. "glory." rose: deel. >> i'll put "street srt" in because was such a wonderfu chacter. ieally liked playing... and that was the movie that jt rt of, like, pumped me, swed me right intohollywood. >> rose: becau they said what after seeing that? >> "who ishat guy? >> rose: becausee compelled them to watch on the screen. >> yeah. ah. theyidn't know men hollywoo they knew me in new york and i s... it was a big thing for . andthe glory par of that moe coming out w it came out t same month that we opened
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riving miss daisy" on stage. >> rose: i was going to mention that, yeah. wherwould you put that? that's in the top then? >> yeah, absolutely. >> rose: aretty good actress, too. >> pretty good actress. both on e stage and. >> rose: who did it on stage? >> dana ivy. wonderful actress. >> rose: a jessi tandy did it... >> jessica did t in theovies i had a wonderful tim interesting thing about working with jessica was s wasn't going to come ar me in the... we shot in the sequence. and sh would hardly speak, you kn? and as the movie progressed, our iendship progressed. she did just the way miss daisy did . >> re: and so she was right because worked for h. >> i worked for her it worked for me, too, aually. it didn't takee very long to understand what she was dng. >> rose: could you loo at the films of t last ten yea and say "let me show you w i
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getting better and better, what i've learned"? at i've learned is the best question. >> no. >> re: you don't know at you're dng different today than what yo did... >> ion't feel like i did anything dferent today. >>ose: you've got it at a rtain page and now you're just simply givg it different voices? >> yeah. yeah. that'sy take on it. that's what i thin i' always been prett good at it. and, of course, it doest matter what it i that y do. you continue to do it, youe going toet bette at i why yore getting better, i'm not quitsure yet. >> rose: i know you can't. >> i knoyou can identify. >> rose: i want to come backto "invictu" this is a conversion between moan and matt damon in which i talk aut the pm that you read so brilliantly. here iis. >> on rob bsland when thing got very bad i fou inspiration in a poem.
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>> a pm? >> a victian poem. just words but they helped me to stand when all i wanted to do was to lie down. but you didn't com all this way to hear an old m talk about things that make no sense. >> no, pase, mr. president, it make completeense to me. on the day of the big match in the bus on the way to t adium nobody tal. >>es, they' allreparing. >> right. but when i think we're ready i have the bus drive put on a song, somhing i've chosen, one we all know. and we listen to the words together and it helps. >> rose: mattid a good job, too, didn't ? >> he did agreat job. and th was a magic da of filming.
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we shot at scene all day, all the dierent setupsrom the time he comesnto the offe until finished that little scene ther and i'm asked ofll of the scenes in the movie which one were your best and that wasone walked away with tnking, gosh, that w great. >> rose: because? >> well, it's jt t connection that wasade betwe matt and i with character, you know? there were those t guys and it's... it's just great fu i couldn'tven get out of charactethat d. >> re: walked around as nelson mandela? >> asnelson mandela. there's a guy nam saul kirchner. >> rose: in a comedyalled un west" or "sun resorts" or sothing. >> has these atlantis hotel and
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he opened a hotel in cape town, i thinit was. lled "the one andnly." >> re: he had a series called "the one and only." >> and the nightfter we shot that sce, the night of that scene we went to this g opening d i was sll walking around as mandela. >> rose: (laug) this i great. >> icouldn't give it up. >> rose: has he he seen it, the movie? >> yes, yeah. >> ros have you talked to him? >> no, i mn i was sitting right next to him as we were watching it. was looking at him. the one thing he saidwhen he first saw the character "i know that flow." >> rose: (laughs that's great! i know that fellow! you know, hs had a remarble cond marriage, though. >> yes, yes.
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a wonderful lady. >> rose: and his sense of his own legacy iswhat? nobody remembers. >> rose: nobody remembers? >> seriously. >> rose:obody rememrs. nobody remembers him? body remembers the struggle? >> rose: >> nobody remembers him. the struggle will never go away. t he doesn't know if hisart in it is appreciated. >> ros he told you thaw? >>e just saysit. >> rose: i don't knoif anybody ll remember? >> well... you kw.
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he's jus an old man now. he has a this wondeul personal assistance, a lady who's by his side all the time. her name is zell da sell da and she loves him. e's like his right and left hands an his conscious and his memory and all of that, you know? she's just... she reassures him, you know? >>his is part of what mes? my sense what makes what yodo so incdible. not only do you getto inhabit andunderstand character, power the life of people over a wide nge, you get to travel, u get meet them, you get to
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el. i mean, is is... >> yeah. yeah. you get it. >> rose: andyou get to wo with people that you really admire. i mean, you are where youare yound u.. yeah. >> rose: clint eastwood jack nicholson and on and on and and on. people... i'm at a pointhere i can callsidney poitier frnd. that's azing. >> rose: means what to you? >>idney poier was my acon. he was... he was my iding star as a kid, as a young man trying to get into this business it was tha sense that yo can do it knowingwhere he came from read all ofis htory, h
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lifetory, young kid from cat islandin the bahamas washing dishes in new yo city in the wintertime lisning to the radio trng to get rid of the heavy bahamian accent that he ha turning into this man that he is w. >> he, like you people wod say, is ifhey did not exist we wod have to create them. >> (laughs) >> rose: is true! his ass, his gnity. >> yes,. >> rose: but you go back to mississippi. >> yes. >> rose: why do you goack to misssippi? not that i don't lik missisppi. in whichou have the choice o anywhe in the world. >> yeah. when i left, when graated from high schoo like smoke ne. >> rose: yes right. >>ut idid... traveled
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treled around... >>ose: find a pla where you can stand. >> yea and all n all the places i went to, u know, if thing aut mississii is it' racial. it's racial thing,you know? and i found it everyere. it exists everywhere on some level. and i staed going back top ssissippi in the '70s. my parents had moved back and were well ensconc there and just goback and it's quiet and lovely and i thought well, this has ways been theomfort zone for me. rose: go to the supermarket and they know who you are but they don nd to ask you for anything. >> right. i ca go buy a tube of toothpaste without becomin an event. >> rose: ectly. because th've seen you before and proud t.
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there is also this abo you at 65 yearsld, you got your pilot's licens >>uh-huh. rose: as a young man you went into the air force. >> yeah. >> rose: as a mechanic? >> well ient in in my mindas a pilot. (laughter) but, yeah,hen i cam out of basic training i was gng to go to radar school as a radar mechanic. something i had no aptitude for at all. radar. >> rose: you went in it because you wanted to fly. way back then you wted to fly. >>eah. >> rose: and you didn't ge your licensuntil 65 which is important for two reans. one, you still got tm. >> yeah, sti gott. and... >> re: go ahead. >> flying a jet rose: a jet n. >> my third. >>ose: do youail anyre? i haven't sailed in... oh, i guesmaybe coming up on four
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years now. i t busy a then i had an accident so i... >> rose: automobile accident? >>yeah. i effectively don't have the use of my fingers on my left hand d that soldaying one hand for yourself a one for the ship, that's very true. so if you've only goone... >> rose: s you're working on it? >> yeah, yeah. constantly >> rose: you once said that you wanted to go to sea on your boat. u wanted to sailnto the ocean because ere was something elental about it. it was life and death if you didn't know wh you were doing. >> yeah. >> rose: you were tempting th gods. >>ou are... you kw, i live a life of make-believe. and beyond a lif of make believe, there has tobe a le
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reality. and you and the sea, that is the ultimate reality, the uimate realy iseing at sea. on a boat. my stomach is talking to me, too. >> rose: and there's nowhere to go. >> no, you can't r. >> rose: you can't go down stairs and go next dr. >> no, you c go dn below an peop have died that w. panic ishe one thingou have to stand up and face. when things get bad, when they really get b, when yo learn how implacable nature is. >> rose: i'v got one more minute here. do you worry abt that. this is n about mortality and death and all of that. but no being able to do thi
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thing that you won't have an opportunity too what it isou have don so magnificentlyin your life? create characters? tell stories? >> do i worry aboutt? rose: yeah. >> not anymore >> rose: you mean aer you're a success you stop worrying >> yeah. yeah once i got a job on many t sge my first job i got press, good press. >> rose: never stopped, did it? >> yeah, and, youdon't need much if is is what you really nt to do. you dot need much in the way of reassance. and r the new york press to say ow," that's it. u're off and running. and justeel like ay, i can do this, i can make ts work? >> ros thank you. >> thank you. >> rose: gat to see yo >> always.
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>> rose: morgan freeman for the ur. thank you ve much. we'll e you next time. captioning sponsored b rose communitions captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.or
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